To smile of not to smile?

1 05 2012

Before I moved to the US I lived in a big city where people walked around with hardly giving you eye contact, there they have different expressions to say hello to people some very impersonal and some very personal. People are very warm and welcoming and they would give you the shirt of their backs, but you would not know it just by passing them on the street.

Here I moved to a small college town and people smile at you on the streets, and when you get into a store they greet you very warm and friendly; some people call you sweety and dear, even when you don’t know them. That seemed odd to me. I mentioned this and I was told that this is because people in the US are very friendly.

After being here for a while I realized that most people do it out of politeness, some out of friendliness, but the smile is just a greeting, it is not an open door for friendship.

I have this instinctive reaction when I see babies, I look at them and smile, can’t help it. So in some parts of town people just notice and smile back, in other parts of town people look at me angrily as to say do not look at my baby. I can’t understand why, maybe they can see I am an alien and they fear alien abduction.

I’ve gotten used to the smiles, I actually love smiling at everybody, I do believe that it is contagious and sometimes it confuses people. So in a recent trip to Germany and I’ve been smiling at people on the street and I got odd looks and some angry looks when smiled at babies.

I asked, I am annoyingly curious and ask questions. They told me that they consider themselves friendly, and don’t see the need to smile to everybody, also they like to protect their privacy.

I believe that not only the culture but the environment affects the smiling, if you are in a go go go city you may not even look at other, or if you are in a sleeping town you may feel inclined to stop smile and greet people.

How are people in your world? would you consider strangers smiling at you nice, friendly or unnecessary and intrusive?

Please share your thoughts.





Support the DREAM ACT

5 12 2010

I have shared my views on the DREAM Act before; I am bringing this up again because it is set to go before the Senate yet again. There are many reasons to support the DREAM act, and I found this article that gives you one more. A little background:

The Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors (DREAM) Act is a bipartisan bill that would provide a path to legal residence for undocumented young people who were brought to the United States as children. The conditions: They must graduate from high school, demonstrate good moral character, and — to keep their legal status — complete at least two years of higher education or at least two years service in the U.S. military.

Without the relief of the DREAM Act, the future of these American-educated young people is bleak.

About 65,000 such eligible students graduate from U.S. high schools each year, but upon graduation, these young people, who include honor roll students, star athletes and junior ROTC members, hit a wall.

Instead of advancing to college or the military and later repaying the investment that taxpayers made in their education, they live in fear of being discovered by the Department of Homeland Security and deported to their “home” country, even if it is a country they cannot remember and where they have no friends, family or support.

Potential DREAM Act beneficiaries like David and Cesar are a military recruiter’s dream candidates for enlistment, even if they have no legal status. They are Americanized, having lived in the United States for at least five years, unlike the newly lawful permanent residents whom the military currently enlists.

DREAM Act beneficiaries have no adult period of residence in a foreign country, making it easier to perform background checks for security clearance. They often speak both English and another language fluently. Many have participated in Junior ROTC in high school. They do not have criminal records or other evidence of bad character. They have graduated from a U.S. high school.

Instead of wearing our uniforms, these recruits could be recruited to work for foreign governments, foreign militaries and foreign intelligence agencies. At a time when we are focused on protecting our borders and quashing threats to our national security, it seems unwise to export thousands of American-educated and American-acculturated young people to militaries other than our own.

Please read the full article here





What I have learned

10 10 2010

I recently quitted my job and I had a weird exit interview. Needless to say, I was my polite self and did not say what was on my mind, partly out of respect for my elders, partly because I knew by experience that whatever I said would not make a difference and because the “boss” could still cause trouble for me (self-preservation)

I was asked by somebody in the company to talk about my “diversity experience”  and this got me thinking of what would I say. So I will share with you, what I did not share with them.

I had to think hard because I felt betrayed when I realized I had been lied, used and manipulated for a long time. For those of you that have read since the beginning  you may know my struggles to understand the racial make up of this country and I happen to end up working in the eye of a racial storm; it felt like that to me. I was overwhelmed and naive.

I can say I learned a lot, I acquired new skills, I learned how to navigate the company and I grew as a person. I had some good times when I thought I belonged and had friends, untill they turned out to be using me as a political/racial pawn.

I learned what it felt to be discriminated against because of  my perceived/assigned race. By my coworkers and the clients we served. I was excluded because I was not of the appropriate race, I constantly hear racially charged comments against Latinos, Asians but the favorite was the evil White people. Many times some of our clients were rude, would not speak to me or reject me all together because they thought I was white.

I learned that racism is not Read the rest of this entry »





What does an illegal alien look like?

15 05 2010

As I said many times before, I do not agree with illegal immigration, there I said it again. The new law in Arizona it is not well written. I don’t have a problem with police upholding the laws, but this one is vague and creates the opportunity for abuse and racial profiling, here is why.

What does an illegal immigrant look like? Who can tell me? The governor of Arizona could not answer that question when asked. I know that the vast majority of illegals, undocumented come from Mexico and Central America, that doesn’t mean that they are the only ones, or that everybody from those regions are here illegally.

I’ve been watching the news and when the interview white people they say they don’t mind if they are asked to show “their papers” because they can prove they are citizens.  But they do not carry their passport or birth certificate, nobody does. That is how you prove you are a citizen, not just by having a driver’s license, illegals have them too. Only permanent residents carry their permanent resident card also known as green card, by the way it is not green. Once you become a citizen you don’t have that anymore, you have a certificate, which you are not allowed to copy and should not carry with you; you can get a passport, something you don’t normally carry with you to work or to go grocery shopping.

This new law says that police can stop anybody and ask them to prove that they are here legally if the have the ‘suspicion’ that they are here illegally. What would make you suspicious that somebody is here illegally by just looking at them? Do you think they are going to stop a white, all-american looking man or woman? really?

During my time here I have volunteered in many places, even taught English as a second language. I have met people that told me that they came legally but overstayed, meaning they were now illegals, from Russia, Romania, Belgium, I don’t know what happened to them, if they went back or not, but the where all white, most of the blond, they would never get stopped on ‘suspicion’ of being illegal. I met a lady from China that told me stories about large numbers of people coming here illegally from her country. I have heard the same from Africa. But lets face it, it is true that the majority come from south of the border, so anyone that looks like they do is fair game. I belive that is called racial profiling.

What does an illegal alien look like?





Huggers Wanted

31 05 2009

I was watching a news report that talked about how some schools are banning hugs, or hugging among students. According to this news report it is all the new rage… hugging is new?

That was one of those times when I felt the Alien that I am. I come from a planet where we show affection. I used to hug and kiss (in the cheek) all my friends since elementary school (that is as far as I can remember). We hug and kiss our friends, specially if we haven’t seen them for a couple of days. With family we do, every time we see each other.

I guess the way we show affection is pretty much cultural. I have had to get used to not kissing and hugging people here, and when I visit my planet I feel awkward the first couple of days, when everybody wants to hug me. Then it all comes back and I feel that warmth of the embrace, the affection, and since I am the one outside the planetary circle, the hugs for me tend to be longer, as if we were trying to make up for lost time, or as my Mom would put it, “recharging my batteries”.

Have you heard about the Free Hugs Campain…if not here it is

 

Hey you don’t know what you are missing, hug somebody today!!





Old Crime Returns to Haunt Legal Immigrants

12 08 2008

I Have read about a few cases were legal immigrants that committed a “crime” are being deported 10, 20, 30, and 40 years later due to a new law. Here are a few examples; the first is from the New York Times:

Old Crime Returns to Haunt an Immigrant; Facing Deportation, Dominican May Become Test Case for New Law

For 171 days now, immigration officials have held Jesus Collado, a Bronx restaurant manager and a legal resident of the United States, in a detention center in Pennsylvania for a misdemeanor he committed 23 years ago and for which, until now, he had never spent a day in jail.

Mr. Collado was convicted of statutory rape and given probation in 1974 because, at 19, he had sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend. Now, the Immigration and Naturalization Service wants to deport Mr. Collado to his homeland, the Dominican Republic, which he left in 1972 and has only returned to for occasional family visits.

Mr. Collado, his wife and their three children, and even the family of his onetime girlfriend, are baffled and horrified that his long-ago misdeed — a crime of moral turpitude, in legal terms — could tear apart the life that he has built in this country. The I.N.S. says that under tougher laws passed by Congress last year, the agency has no choice but Read the rest of this entry »





Another Alien Invasion

25 05 2008

This another alien invasion, but this one has an nice twist. Enjoy